Towler, as a company, was originated and founded by two Brothers - Frank and John Towler.
1866: Leeds Hydraulic and Engineering Company Limited was founded. Frank and John Towler worked for the company, which produced the typical type of slow speed water hydraulic pumps and equipment.
1931: Frank and John Towler formed Electraulic Presses Limited and then later bought controlling interests in Leeds Hydraulic and Engineering.
Early 1930’s: The Towler brothers developed a high-speed oil hydraulic pump of high volumetric efficiency and capable of operating at high pressures.
1935: Towler Brothers (Patents) Limited was formed by Frank and John, to exploit the newly developing market of the changeover from water to oil as a medium for transmitting power. They were among the earliest pioneers in the field of direct oil hydraulic systems. From their original ideas and experience, the first Towler In-Line Plunger Pumps (which remains in basically the same form today) and Valved Axial Piston “Z” Series Pumps (again basically the same form today, but now developed as the “A” Series) were designed and developed together with a range of valves, which still incorporate many of the original features.
From the outset, their aim was not simply to convert existing water hydraulic systems to oil hydraulic systems at the same comparatively low pressure (69-103 Bar / 1000-1500 P.S.I.). The majority of the early water hydraulics were based on centralized weight Loaded Accumulator systems feeding a series of machines. The Towler idea was to develop more compact and efficient direct pumping systems operating at much higher pressures, and powering individual machines.
The standard range of valves was designed for pressures up to 483 Bar (7000 PSI), whilst the Valved Axial Pumps were capable of up to 620 Bar (9000 PSI) and the In-Line Plunger Pumps up to 1034 Bar (15000 PSI).
It was no easy task to persuade clients who had been accustomed to operating at 103 Bar (1500 PSI) to suddenly change to operating at four or five times this pressure. Apart from the obvious fears of high-pressure systems, the machinery manufacturers had problems in obtaining suitable press cylinders/ pipework/ connections etc. which would withstand these sorts of pressures. However Towler persevered and the operating pressures gradually increased.
Prior to this period, the majority of our experience and market was in the heavier engineering and machinery fields, and although it was never intended to try and compete in the mass production low pressure market, it was decided to increase both market and experience by expanding down into the medium pressure areas. Previously Towler had done a considerable amount of system development work with clients, only to be considered uncompetitive in price for quantity production (in other words clients were prepared to use our experience and expertise in developing the prototype system, but would then selectively buy cheaper components for quantity production).
1969: Acquired interests in a German company Schwelm GmbH, who already had an established range of medium/ low pressure valves designed to International Standards for mounting, and who had experience in the manufacture and supply of equipment for the injection Molding, Machine Tool, Steelworks, Mechanical Handling, and Marine Industries. By co-operation and interchange of ideas, this further developed the experience and expertise of both companies.
1974: Took over the assets of Pressure Dynamics
1974: Bradford Cylinders Limited was acquired to provide the inclusion of our own cylinders in the total engineered systems we offer. Bradford Cylinders specialized in heavy duty and special design cylinders for the Steel; Mobile and Marine markets and these were complemented with ranges of standard types of cylinders.
1976: Pratt Precision Hydraulics of Halifax was acquired; a company specializing in the Machine Tool and Mechanical Handling markets.
1981: Acquired the assets of Andrew Fraser & Company Limited; another old established U.K. High Pressure Hydraulics company with many years of experience.
1985: Oilgear Towler formed when the Oilgear Company of Milwaukee, USA acquired Towler Hydraulics.